ISLAMABAD JAN 29 (DNA) : Former Sri Lanka captain Santath Jayasuriya is happy to welcome Pakistani all-rounder Shoaib Malik in his company.
Malik, who will be 38 on Saturday, became the eighth player to play international cricket in four different decades after featuring against Bangladesh in the first Twenty20 International at the Gaddafi Stadium Lahore (GSL) on Friday.
Wilfred Rhodes, Dennis Brian Close, Frank Woolley, Sachin Tendulkar, Jack Hobbs, George Gunn and Sanath Jayasuriya are the other players in the elite list.
Furthermore, Shoaib Malik is the third Pakistan cricketer to play over 20 years after Imran Khan – the current prime minister of Pakistan – and Mushtaq Mohammad. Imran Khan played for 20 years and 218 days while Mushtaq played for 20 years and 3 days.
Malik made his international (ODI) debut in 1999 playing against West Indies at Sharjah. His Test debut was in 2001 (against Bangladesh in Multan) and also a part of the recent home series against Bangladesh.
Jayasuriya said, “Shoaib is a versatile player and for some reason he always used to do well against us. He made plenty of runs against us and was always a threat with the ball.”
“The secret for his longevity is his fitness. It is remarkable effort to stretch his career thus far.”
“It is an extremely difficult feat nowadays given the volume of cricket. I don’t see very many players having careers that are that long, unless they are extremely fit,” Jayasuriya said.